Sunday, August 20, 2023

Game #125 - Toronto Blue Jays (69-56) @ Cincinnati Reds (64-61) - game recap

Brandon Belt hit a pair of home runs in a 10-3 win over the Reds


After a solid win thanks to three shutout innings from the bullpen and a home run from Davis Schneider, the Blue Jays were looking for their 2nd straight win, 23rd series win 13th season series win of the season. Hyun-.Jin Ryu got the start with Danny Jansen behind the plate.  George Springer was back in the lineup and in RF after missing a couple of days with a sore right ankle. Kevin Kiermaier was in CF and Daulton Varsho was in LF. Whit Merrifield got the start at 2B.  Brandon Belt served as DH.  Could the Blue Jays make it two straight wins and botch their 23rd series win and 13th season series win of the season? Here is today's game recap. 

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue jays opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Bo Bichette scored on a fielding error by Matt McLain on a ball hit by Brandon Belt
  • The Blue jays added a pair of runs in the top of the 2nd as Kevin Kiermaier smacked a 2-run blast to right; also scoring Danny Jansen
  • Three batters later, Belt belted a 2-run jack to right; also scoring Whit Merrifield
  • The Reds got a pair back in the bottom half of the inning on a horrible throwing error by Matt Chapman that allowed Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion- Strand to score. 
  • The Blue jays added a run in the top of the 4th as Bichette whacked a solo blast to the opposite field in right
  • A batter later, Belt belted a solo blast to the opposite field in left
  • Two batters later,  George Springer hammered a 2-run bomb to left; also scoring Vladimir Guerrero Jr
  • Hunter Greene pitching line: 3IP 10H 9R (8 earned) 3BB 4K 90 pitches (62 for strikes)
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu pitching line: 5IP 4H 2R (both unearned) 1BB 7K 83 pitches (56 for strikes)
  • The Reds got one back in the bottom of the 7th as Tyler Stephenson hammered a solo bomb to left-center
  • The Blue jays added a run in the top of the top of the 9th as Danny Jansen singled scoring Daulton Varsho
  • Bowden Francis pitched the final 3 innings for his 1st save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 10 Reds 3

My Take:

  • Hyun-Jin Ryu battled through 5 innings, giving up two unearned runs on four hits while walking one and striking out seven.  With Ryu, the Blue Jays are rightfully going to err on the side of caution with his workload. He is coming off Tommy John surgery so it makes sense for the Blue Jays to end his day an inning or so early. The only runs he gave up were not his fault at all.  Matt Chapman made a bad throw trying to nab Christian Encarnacion- Strand at 2nd base. The ball went into center field allowing both runners to score. Ryu battled through the hands he got into and was able to make good pitches to get out of innings. 
  • The bullpen did its job on a rare day where there was a save with a seven run lead. Bowden Francis, who may have made his final appearance of the season for the Blue Jays this season with Chad Green very close to making his season debut as his Tommy John rehab reaches its conclusion, threw three innings, allowing a run in two hits while striking out 4 over three innings. 
  • The offensive ignited early, scoring 9 times in the first 4 innings.  Brandon Belt went deep twice for three runs, no Bichette tripled and went deep in his second game back from the knee injury. 
  • Every Blue Jays starter, except Matt Chapman, had at least one hit and scored at least once. Every starter but Whit Merrifield, Vlad, Daulton Varsho and Chapman drove in at least one run. 
  • In terms of the wild card, Seattle remains a half game ahead of the Blue Jays for the final wild card spot after they hung on to beat the Astros, who ate a half game up on the Mariners for the 2nd wild card spot.  The Red Sox also won to remain 2.5 games back of the Blue Jays and 3 games back of the Mariners. 
  • Just what Vlad needs - an injury to hamper him when he is already struggling through a trying season. Then again, maybe a few days off will allow him to reset and he'll show some flashes of the 2021 Vlad.
  • Up next, after an off day tomorrow, the Blue Jays head to Baltimore to take on the Orioles, who have won 8 of the 10 games in the season series so far., outscoring the Blue Jays 60-31. Yusei Kikuchi starts for the Blue Jays.  Three Orioles have not set their rotation for the series yet.